Desal Data Weekly - June 26th, 2017

Posted 26 June, 2017 by Mandy

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EGYPT – The Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces is planning to build four seawater desalination plants.  Major General Kamel al-Wazir, head of the EAAF, announced that three of the facilities would each have a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres of water per day.[1] They will be located in Al Alamain, Al-Jamila, and East Port Said, and reportedly financed in cooperation with French and German companies. A fourth facility will be located in Najila, with an initial capacity of 5,000 cubic metres per day.

In 2018, the Ain Sokhna water and power plant will be operational in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.[2] This facility will process 164,000 cubic metres of seawater per day.[3]


CAPE TOWN – Government officials in Cape Town endeavor to build new desalination facilities to address the city’s acute water crisis.[4]  Their objective is to develop a desalination capacity of 100,000 – 500,000 cubic metres of seawater per day, with multiple facilities that range in size from 5,000 m3/day to 500,000 m3/day.

Officials have expressed an interest in working with for-profit and non-profit entities “to supply, install, and operate temporary reverse osmosis (RO) plants at various locations along its sea shore and certain inland locations.”   They have submitted a request for information to discern their options.[5]

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U.S.A.  –  A team of researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas has developed a new solar-powered method for desalinating seawater.[6]  The researchers report that they have created a system that combines membrane distillation and nanophotonics technologies.[7]  This system integrates “engineered nanoparticles” (which can harvest up to 80 percent of sunlight to generate steam) into porous membranes—creating heating elements that increase the temperature of the water in order to drive distillation through the membrane.[8] 

Qilin Li, a scientist who worked on the project, stated that the team’s objective is to establish solar desalination as a source of freshwater for the estimated 1 billion people in the planet who lack access. Li stated the system may be used for single families, and it may be scaled up for use in large communities. The team’s objective is to establish a customizable design that enables customers to calculate the number of solar panels they need in order to meet their daily water supply.[9]


CAPE VERDE – For the island nation of Cape Verde, it seems that renovations to existing desalination facilities would go a long way towards alleviating water scarcity. The nation’s three desalination plants, which are located on three different islands, are the primary water supply for more than half of the nation’s population. But more than 55 percent of this water gets lost in leaks, pipelines, and reservoirs, according to Antonio Pedro Pina, the electrical engineer at one of the facilities.[10]

The nation’s water crisis is projected to intensify with global warming. For the island of Santiago, where the dry season lasts for nine months per year, the rainy season will become even more fleeting.[11]





[1] “Egypt steps up desalination plant building programme,”, June 21, 2017, <> accessed June 21, 2017.

[2] For more information, see “Hyflux to deliver Suez Canal project as BOO not EPC,”, January 9, 2017, <> accessed June 21, 2017.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Cape Town calls for information on desalination solutions amid drought,”, <> accessed June 21, 2017.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Mark Hutchins, “U.S. researchers develop new method for solar desalination,” PV Magazine, June 20, 2017, <> accessed June 22, 2017.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Christiane Teixeira, “Cape Verde: Desalination Against Aridity,”, June 21, 2017, <> accessed June 22, 2017.

[11] Ibid.

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